Last week I met a new friend. Rarely do you meet someone who says something early in the relationship so profound that it inspires you. Last week I met that type of person. To start off, this is a professional colleague and we were discussing what motivated us to work with small business owners. We agreed the passion was seeing creativity spring to life. She summed it up perfectly. “Mike, look around you. Everything created by man was once just a thought.”
The sentence by itself is unassuming, but I sat in the passenger seat of the car and started to see what she meant. EVERYTHING, was once a thought in someone’s head. From the light pole to the sign on a wall, they all started in a similar location. I’m not a deep thinker usually, but this subject was a fascinating look at the world around me.
She followed it up by connecting the thought to the power of the future. What the mind can conceive, the body can achieve. In her life, that meant to think about the future in a way that directed your action toward achieving the dream in your mind. Yep, pretty deep, but powerfully clarifying at the same time.
As a small business owner, you start with the end in mind. You see yourself being successful and the evidence of achievement surrounding you. For some it’s a comfortable retirement, others want customers who hold them in high regard, and still some want to make their mark in the business annals of history. Regardless, we all start our businesses in the same place – an idea within our mind.
This had me thinking. Many small business owners never realize their initial dream for their business and end up settling for another outcome or failing all together. What separates the two individuals who ended up so different at the end of their careers? Did one keep their eyes on the ultimate dream and thus achieve it because they could visualize their success? I know it is not that simple, but it could be a prime contributing factor to success in small business.
In every success story I’ve heard, there is an element of focus and drive. As early as the 17th century, mathematicians had thought about creating a machine that could perform automated calculations. Later in the 19th and the 20th centuries, the idea was coupled with the logic of philosophy and the computer was born. Centuries of provoked thought led the men with the focus and drive to create the machine that ultimately changed the world. A machine that could make decisions and to leaders in the AI (artificial intelligence) industry, develop its own thoughts.
How does this impact the small business owner? I think it provides them with the opportunity to dream big and keep their business on a track that shapes their future. Every step forward leads to an enhanced idea by someone else connected to the original thought. The successful business owner who starts with the end in mind, sets the foundation for his world-changing idea to become a reality. His focus and drive inspire those who believe as he believes. The idea is the fuel for the small business owner’s passion to create a future for themselves. Good news for us; society benefits from those who choose to pursue their idea. If you need inspiration, just look around. Everything man-made you see, was once just someone’s thoughts.